Conquering Fear of Rejection & Stepping into Courage

My friend Jennifer boldly describes tender and hard areas that can keep us silent…unless we conquer our fear of rejection and step into courage. Read how in today’s guest blog.

 

By Jennifer Slattery

For a long time, fear of rejection was my greatest foe. It hindered my relationships with others, my effectiveness, and my peace. Worse, it kept me from fully surrendering to Christ. I was far from the confident, courageous ambassador Christ created me to be. Upon first glance, this might not seem like such a bad thing. After all, I have yet to meet a woman who in some way doesn’t struggle with such insecurities. The problem arises when we place our desire to please others above our desire to please God—the author of life and hope. 

This almost always results in disobedience. Worse, it hinders my proclamation of grace and thus the very role God created me for. In fact, when I allow my insecurities to enslave me, I’ve slipped into a role reversal. I become self-obsessed and make Jennifer Slattery, rather than Christ, the center of my world. 

Here’s what I’ve found: the more I focus on myself, the more miserable and insecure I become. Always. But when I focus on others? When I truly love them? That’s freeing. And healing and empowering. 

The other night, I watched my daughter share a really difficult and vulnerable story to a room full of high school students. And while she’s not normally nervous speaking in front of crowds, I’m sure a part of her would’ve much rather stayed home. She might even have wrestled with whether or not to talk about this thing, but her love for the young girls growing up in today’s hyper-sexual culture propelled her. 

You see, her freshman year in high school, she was sexually assaulted. This experience scared, mortified, and shamed her and was made all the more painful by her confusion. Prior to this, she’d been homeschooled then attended a small private school. She’d had limited access to movies and television. Therefore, her experience with males had always been positive. I don’t think she’d ever seen a woman objectified before—not until that happened to her. 

She didn’t tell her father and I about this experience for a long time, for years, actually. Instead, she buried it deep in her heart, feeling dirty and ashamed. This impacted her relationships with others, especially boys, even those who weren’t like the ones who had treated her so horridly. Often, that’s what happens when others hurt us. Unless we learn to feel and grieve and heal with Christ, those wounds begin to fester, impacting our perceptions and interactions. Our pasts can create an ongoing fear that others will hurt, use, or reject us. And so, we erect barriers around our hearts and then wonder why we feel so alone. 

We begin to form labels like: I’m not good enough. I’m tarnished. I’m worthless. I’m discarded. I’m rejected. 

Those labels effect everything. They keep us in bondage. I don’t know how true this was for my daughter, but regardless of how she might or might not have felt, she acted courageously. Why? Because she knew those precious teens sitting, row by row, in front of her, needed to hear her story. And so, she told it.

She shifted her focus off of herself and onto Christ and every youth in the audience. With her eyes on God, her fear of rejection lost its power. 

Self-obsession is a ravenous beast that will hold us in bondage. It will trigger our insecurities, feed our deceptions, distort our perceptions, and deaden our impact. To break free, we need first recognize how deeply loved we are, not for anything we have or haven’t done but because of who Christ is. God is love and therefore we are loved. But we also need to love God and others more than we love ourselves. We need to practice being other’s focused. Because love, breathed in and then out, truly does have the power to break every chain, our fears of rejection included. 

 

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Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Hometown Healing and numerous other titles, writes for iBelieve and Bible Study Tools, devotions for Guideposts and the Quiet Hour, and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team help women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to find out more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event, and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE to learn of her future appearances, projects, and releases.

 

In her 12-part podcast series titled Faith Over Fear, she helps listeners battle many of the Faith-Over-Fear-1400x1400anxieties and fears that often assault us, sharing practical tools and timeless truths that, when applied, can help us live our Christ-won place of victory. Find these episodes on Life Audio, her correlating Bible reading plan Faith Over Fear on the YouVersion Bible app, free printable calendars to her Faith Over Fear 10 week challenge, and her private Facebook group you can link arms and find encouragement from other warriors steadily advancing toward freedom. 

 

Comment below, on Facebook, or Instagram.

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood. You matter to me! I’m so glad to walk in faith with you.

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Grow in faith with Andrea’s video Devotionals on Our Daily Bread! And more with WhollyLoved Ministries on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk.  

What do I have to offer?

What do I have to offer? That question arose after I spoke reminding local women that they’re chosen, called, and adored by God. But insecurity sets in and we worry we don’t have what it takes to do the big things God asks of us. We feel insignificant against the backdrop of those already living the call we’re entering. But if we don’t step in, a great loss occurs. What do you have to give that others don’t? You have the key to freedom for another person written in your story!

Did you know that we’re all just a bunch of busted up, broken down, sinful people? You just don’t always see everyone’s junk. Or you see them post-transformation, after they’ve started following Jesus, the only One who can make pure beauty out of our imperfection. Truth is none of us have much to offer on our own.

And really, our communities don’t need more fakers with puffed up chests acting like they have life all figured out. They need you and me to tell our real stories and show how Jesus has stepped in and redeemed our hard, forgiven our sin, and restored our hearts bringing about change in our lives.

Here’s what it looks like:

Our story + Jesus’s grace = the key to someone else’s freedom.

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Photos by Christin Hume on Unsplash, cropped for use

Were you an angry mom who wanted peace in her house and the only way you found it was praying and following God’s prompting? Tell people. You aren’t the only one struggling with that.

Were you addicted to alcohol in the suburbs and Jesus showed you grace and real freedom as you came near to Him? Tell your story. There are more stuck in that same cycle who need someone to relate to.

Did God help you grieve? Did He heal your marriage after adultery? Did He pull you out of depression and anxiety??

For the love please tell people! Because someone else is hurting and you could give them hope as you point to Jesus’s love in the storm.

But Insecurity is the enemy’s favorite tactic to keep our stories silent.

Satan, the one at work to hurt God’s people, keeps us stuck in fear because the longer we’re stagnant and keeping our stories to ourselves, the longer others feel alone in their hard and the easier it is for him to beat them up with shame and guilt. 

What do you have to offer?

Freedom. As you’re bold and take others under your wing, sharing how God loved you and loves them too.

You can’t control their outcome, or if they validate your story, or even care. But you can obey as God calls you to go and tell of His goodness to broken people just like you.

So no matter if it’s listening and encouraging a friend or co-worker, or starting a blog, or a women’s group at your church or in your neighborhood… YOU have the most important thing to offer. Freedom and healing in Christ.

 

Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook. P.S. Jesus is so incredible! I’m so excited for you as you get to know the One who wants to be your EVERYTHING!

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood, you matter to me, and I’m so grateful you let me serve you:)

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

Fleeting Or Forever

Wedding season occupied my 20s. Divorces shake my 30s. It’s rocking homes in my neighborhood, friends, people I love. I bet you’ve witnessed the falling of relationships you were sure of, too. If we must endure the hurt of the fleeting, what can we learn from it? Where is the forever we long for?

Truth? We have the hope of forever, but we often put our faith in fleeting things and people.

My confession? I do this all the time and it continues to backfire. And I’m tired of it.

The only sure thing in life is…Facebook. Um, wait, no. Maybe Insta? Nope. I put my hope in them daily for approval, but they are like rabid raccoons someone let loose in my house. Putting my hope in my platform to make dreams come true left me totally deflated and hopeless. Some days everyone likes you, they think you’re witty and wise, and the next day–crickets! Fans and dreams cannot be my hope.

How about my family? My husband and kids? They can be my hope. Wrong again! When I put the weight of my identity and all my needs on them, their faults become unbearable, they can’t meet my every need and vice versa, and our relationships suffer. They cannot be the source of my hope. The best we can do for each other is build one another up on the true rock.

I could list 10 other things I’ve put my trust in…my ability to control, my body, my work ethic…but they only disappoint and distract from the only One worthy of my faith.

In Jesus, our hope is secure. He is forever everything good, unchangeable love, enduring relationship, abundantly for me and you.

Read Psalm 121. It’s short and so important. It was ringing in my head this morning as I thought of you and wondered what God wanted me to say. Where does my help come from? Jesus. Where does my everything come from? Jesus. He is our hope and He alone can handle our need. He never slumbers. He is constant in a world of chaos.

I don’t want to give my precious hope to the cheap attractions of the world anymore, or heap my need for a Savior on people who were not meant to be Jesus. Let’s stop making sandcastles, and build on solid rock. He is the forever we crave and He is enough to fill every part of our deepest need when people and things cannot.

How is God asking you to raise your eyes to Him instead of the world? What do you need to let go of in order to do so? Trade in the fleeting and let Jesus be your eternal hope. He’s up to the task.

Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook. P.S. Jesus is so incredible! I’m so excited for you as you get to know the One who wants to be your EVERYTHING!

**Here’s how to GET MORE free encouragement from me right to your inbox! Join the Glory-Be sisterhood, you matter to me, and I’m so grateful you let me serve you:)

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

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IT’S HERE! Intentional Holidays is the perfect devotional to keep you focused on Jesus this holiday season. It was so fun to write for this devo with such a talented and grace-filled group of women. We hope this brings you rest and rejoicing through the often chaotic seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Order yours on Amazon asap!

 

 

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We made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.

Stripping Titles & Finding Identity

What if all our self-made identities were stripped away? Would we still be enough? Down with pneumonia I felt absolutely worthless for two weeks. I couldn’t cook, parent my kids, write, teach, or even plan a birthday party for my 5 year old. I was just Andrea with nothing to be proud of, feeling weak and useless. Then, in the middle of my misery, it hit me; if every identity I’d created was wiped away, would God still love me?

Of course in my head I knew the answer. Scripture tells us that we are beloved children of God, redeemed by Christ as a free gift. But sometimes my heart wants to earn love. I think to myself if I’m a good enough writer, mother, wife, or teacher, I will deserve God’s love and can feel good about accepting it. 

But that’s the opposite of the gospel.

We can cling to this truth when we are afraid we’re not enough.

And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11 ESV

The reason we have nothing to prove and can stand secure in God’s love when we have absolutely nothing to give is evident in today’s verse. Our Dad in heaven is completely, 100%, pleased with Jesus, and we are tucked in Him. So we have nothing to prove. He is our identity. And He’s always enough so we can quit trying to be. 

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When we mess up, His perfection covers us. When we are weak, Jesus’s strength abounds. When we have nothing to give, His sacrifice on the cross prevails. God is well pleased with us because we have faith in His Son, not because we are innately awesome. 

God is well pleased with us because we have faith in His Son, not because we are innately awesome. 

In a culture that beckons us to make a splash and find our worth in what we do, let’s be confident that our identity is solely based on our faith in Christ. The Father is well pleased with Jesus, and sees nothing but good when He looks on us through the light of Christ. No more striving, no more comparing, just resting confidently that we are enough because of Jesus.

 

**Here’s how to GET MORE free truth bombs right to your inbox and join the Glory Be movement. You matter to me! Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook. P.S. Jesus is so fun! I’m so excited for you as you get to know the One who wants to be your EVERYTHING!

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals with WL on YouVersion Bible App and Crosswalk

 

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We made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.